The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules an Important Project of Common European interest (“IPCEI”) jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.
The seven Member States will provide in the coming years up to approximately €3.2 billion in funding for this project, which is expected to unlock an additional €5 billion in private investments. The completion of the overall project is planned for 2031 (with differing timelines for each sub-project).
The project will involve 17 direct participants, mostly industrial actors, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), some of which with activities in more than one Member State. The direct participants will closely cooperate with each other and with over 70 external partners, such as SMEs and public research organisations across Europe.
Following intensive technical discussions between the Commission and the relevant actors over a period of 3 months, the project was formally notified to the Commission for approval under EU State aid rules in October 2019. After notification, the Commission finalised its assessment and took its decision swiftly to ensure the fast and smooth implementation of the project.
The project participants and their partners will focus their work on four areas:
- Raw and advanced materials: The project aims to develop sustainable innovative processes allowing extraction, concentration, refining and purification of ores to generate high-purity raw materials. With respect to advanced materials (such as cathodes, anodes and electrolytes), the project aims to enhance existing materials or create new ones, to be used in innovative battery cells.
- Cells and modules: The project aims todevelop innovative cells and modules designed to meet the safety, and performance required for both automotive and non-automotive applications (e.g. stationary energy storage, power tools, etc.).
- Battery systems: The project aims to develop innovative battery systems including battery management software and algorithms as well as innovative test methods.
- Repurposing, recycling and refining: The project aims to design safe and innovative processes for collection, dismantling, repurposing, recycling and refining of recycled materials.